Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Just get it done

From Gord Henderson's column today on the possibility of hiring an Auditor-General:
" Marra said there are questions still to be answered. What would be the rules of engagement? How could frivolous complaints be avoided? How far could an auditor general go in investigating armslength groups like the police, library board, grant recipients and utility companies? "
Please don't tell me that this is going to require more studies and reports. This has been studied and reported to death. The act is VERY clear on what an Auditor General can and can't audit. Police, Library and Health Boards are exempt from the Auditor General, although the City of Toronto has voluntarily invited their Auditor to begin audits within these organizations. They plan to lobby the Provincial government to include these agencies when the City of Toronto Act is reviewed.

Rules of engagement? The Auditor General is an independent position, free to audit without any interference. Council, with a three quarters majority vote can direct the auditor to audit specific items. That's it.

Frivolous complaints? The Auditor General is an independent position, free to audit without any interference. A Municipal Auditor General is virtually identical to counterparts at the Federal and Provincial levels. Frivolous complaints don't factor in as the Auditor General is free to choose what to audit. Period, full stop.

Council has had a specific briefing from officials at the Ministry of Municpal Affairs. We already have one report that has been referred to the audit committee, and the potential for further reports and studies.

When I last blogged about this issue after my appearance at Council in October of 2007, I predicted it wouldn't come back until January and then most likely would be deferred due to funds not being allocated in the 2008 budget. For once, I sincerely hope I'm wrong.

Can we at least stop studying whether or not to implement the position and move forward to studying how to implement it sometime before the term of this current Council ends?

As far as being " in the forefront " of change, the City of Markham beat us to that back in October along with Oshawa , who by the way, is using the Auditor General to conduct service delivery reviews, instead of hiring outside consultants controlled by the City, at great expense.

Why would we, the taxpayers, want a truly independent Auditor General to conduct a service delivery review, without interference of any kind from either Council or the Administration?

Why indeed!

Related Posts and Links:

1. Three Card Monte - Windsor Style

2. Momentum grows for Windsor Auditor General

3. Amendments to the Ontario Municipal Act

4. City of Toronto Auditor General

5. Amendments to the Municipal Act 2001, Proclaimed - 01 January, 2007

6. Proclamation Facts : The Municipal Statute Law Amendment Act, 2006 (Bill 130)

7. Bill 130 2006 - The Municipal Statute Law Amendment Act